Sudan: Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union concerning the situation in Darfur

News and Press Release
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15911/1/08 REV 1 (Presse 334)
P 144/08

Brussels, 18 November 2008

1. The European Union welcomes the announcement by the Sudanese President of a unilateral ceasefire in Darfur.

- It solemnly calls on the Sudanese authorities to honour their commitment and urges all parties to follow suit. The EU will keep a close watch on the implementation of this measure, which represents an essential prerequisite in building the trust required in order to relaunch the peace process. In particular, the EU calls for the disarming of militias to be embarked upon without delay by the Sudanese authorities, in liaison with UNAMID.

- The EU urges all parties to desist from violence, respect international humanitarian law and actively engage in the search for a political solution. It calls on the Sudanese authorities and rebel groups to cooperate actively with the AU/UN chief mediator and with UNAMID, in establishing effective arrangements for monitoring the cessation of hostilities.

- The EU has heard reports of possible military operations conducted by the Sudanese army in recent days in Darfur, in particular aerial bombardments. It calls on UNAMID to carry out a full investigation of these incidents.

2. The European Union calls on the Sudanese government to consider the recommendations of the Sudan People's Initiative forum for a political settlement of the Darfur crisis. It notes in particular the proposals concerning security, powersharing and compensation for victims.

The EU calls on the rebel movements to participate constructively in current efforts to resolve the conflict in Darfur.

3. The European Union reiterates its support for the AU/UN chief mediator, Mr Djibril Bassolé. It applauds the facilitation efforts being made by Qatar, in close coordination with Mr Bassolé.

4. The European Union calls for the Sudanese authorities to implement all of their commitments in speeding up deployment of UNAMID, as they stand following the tripartite meeting on 7 October 2008 in particular. The EU calls on Sudan to extend the moratorium on restrictions on humanitarian access, due to expire in early 2009, which is essential for the continuation of humanitarian operations in Darfur.

5. The European Union welcomes the resumption of diplomatic relations between Sudan and Chad. This represents a first step in the normalisation of relations between the two countries. The EU calls on both sides to continue along that path, with the support of the contact group for the Dakar Agreement signed on 13 March 2008 and of all States in the region.

6. The European Union deplores Sudan's failure to cooperate with the International Criminal Court. It calls for the Sudanese authorities to comply with their obligations under Security Council Resolution 1593, by implementing the two arrest warrants issued for Mr Ahmad Harun and Mr Ali Kushayb.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.